The challenge and reward of change

Clare Hill

The concept of change can evoke feelings of either fear or excitement. Standing still when the world around you moves forward can be just as dangerous as jumping in feet first without assessing where you are currently, and where you want to be. We have all been propelled into our future state, potentially 5-10 years earlier than anticipated.  We have been largely successful and have surprised and impressed ourselves at what we can achieve when there is no other option.  

The pandemic experience has highlighted that we can deliver change at speed without long term planning.  We also know that this does not always deliver a sustainable outcome; what is acceptable in a period of crisis may not be right for the medium/longer term. An overarching lesson is that we need to be prepared for frequent change, be it economic, digital, environmental, health, or society based.  Organisations must nurture a culture of change at every level to reimagine how they will operate and evolve. Right here, right now. We have seen the impact a sudden change can make, so how can we ensure what we do today will positively impact the future?

Creating an imperative.

Pre-Covid-19 we believed that people were resistant to change; the change was often considered more hassle than it was worth, and it was often easier to maintain an imperfect status quo rather than venture into the unknown. The truth is, we are capable of not only embracing change but thriving on it. Overnight organisations had to rethink entire business plans, hospitals were built, and people had a new imperative to operate remotely. Because the imperative to execute a new way of working was global, adopted by all, and non-negotiable, people were on board.

Companies across the globe have been surprised and in awe of how professionals have gained productivity and demonstrated a strong resolve to power through. It is easy to drift back to ‘normal’, forgetting that what we have gained so far was already on the horizon and the next evolutionary step for organisations that want to remain competitive and successful in their markets.

The new approach for the here and now, tomorrow is still undecided.

The importance of people in embedding change in organisations is recognised as a key differentiator in successful programmes but is still too often ignored. Having the ability as a company to move forward with confidence when uncertainty is currently ever-present is the difference between falling and flying. Teams that were once found in one office location are now scattered across the globe with nothing but a laptop screen and keyboard to keep them connected. Distributed workforces have proven to be much more successful than anticipated, supported by rapidly improving digital technology. It seems all it needed was an imperative to kickstart the experiment.

Leaders are adapting rapidly, establishing agile operating models to manage distributed teams, who are trusted and empowered to make decisions and contribute positively to the achievement of organisational objectives. Quite simply, rigid hierarchical models are not going to deliver the best results in the here and now. 

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What matters now?

  • Equipping, enabling, and developing a distributed workforce.
  • Creating a sense of belonging and connection
  • Recognising the value of new technologies to support the people and company.
  • Striving to build a leadership model that acts with confidence when uncertainty is our current normal.
  • Adopting operating models that are agile and engage empowered and trusted teams
  • Be very clear about the imperative for change, if there is no clear imperative, then ask yourself why are you doing it? 

The Future of Work is Now.

At Sysdoc we were clear the beginning of Covid-19 that this was a time like no other and it was an opportunity to rethink our organisation.  We have been talking a lot about the Future of Work but that the Future of Work is now.

It has never been more crucial to enable our future workplaces by encouraging and developing leaders of change. During uncertain times companies will look to their leadership for guidance and set the example of how to handle such situations. This is an exciting opportunity to nurture a diverse, inclusive, innovative, and supportive environment, that benefits everyone.

It is clear to us at Sysdoc that at this current time planning too far ahead is futile. We need to be present at the moment and remain both agile and adaptive to a changing landscape that is challenging but full of opportunities. It is about empowering leaders at every level in the organisation; providing opportunities to develop ideas and to innovate to meet customer needs; and finding new ways to build networks, communities, and a sense of belonging We are evolving, are you? 

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